Legal South Dakota Sports Betting

There are 38 casinos (12 tribal, 26 commercial) spread around the Mount Rushmore State, but none of them offers legal South Dakota sports betting. Unfortunately, that means that South Dakota is missing out on a pretty healthy portion of the estimated $400 billion spent by Americans on sports betting each year.

Of course, South Dakota is hardly alone there, with most US states taking their sweet time rolling out proper sports betting products now that the federal ban on the activity (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA) has been overturned by the Supreme Court, taking away Nevada’s monopoly on legal sports betting.

However, just because there are no physical locations in SD where you can wager just yet, that doesn’t mean that sports betting is inaccessible to all the residents of the state. Additionally, it’s worth noting that there are no specific South Dakota state laws banning sports betting, either – only the remaining federal laws apply (i.e. the Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, or UIGEA). Yet despite these, sports betting is doing quite well in South Dakota, and you too can enjoy the pastime safely and legally.

Is Land-Based Sports Betting Legal In South Dakota?

No. There is no legal South Dakota sports betting at any land-based venue, as US sports betting laws like the Wire Act (1961) and the UIGEA (2006)  – as well as the erstwhile PASPA – all combined to prevent that since the early 1990s. Fortunately, there is an easy workaround for this, and you can find it right here on the Internet: online sports betting.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In South Dakota?

Yes. Well, for most folks. Due to a Chapter 22-25A-7 of the South Dakota Codified Laws, “no person engaged in a gambling business may use the [I]nternet or an interactive computer service to bet or wager.” This qualifier makes it clear that the folks forbidden from betting online are those who are members of or otherwise engaged in a “gambling business.” In other words, bookies and casinos (and their representatives) cannot use the Internet to promote or facilitate gambling.

As is the case with the Wire Act and the UIGEA, this law goes after those who take bets, not those who make them. This means that you are – at least cursorily – in the clear to participate in legal South Dakota sports betting, provided you do so strictly on the Internet.

Where To Bet On Sports In South Dakota

If you’re specifically looking to do so at a land-based storefront or in a casino, there is nowhere to bet on sports in South Dakota. While there are dozens of casinos in the state, none offers sports betting outside of horse and greyhound simulcasts. However, if you’re willing to sign up for free at an online sportsbook, you can bet on any sport you choose from anywhere in the state (or the rest of the country).

Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

There are tribal and commercial casinos scattered throughout South Dakota, but none offers sports betting. Las Vegas is 1200 miles away, so that’s probably not an option either. But even if Sin City were only 120 miles away (or 12 miles away, for that matter), it’d still be too far to go for legal sports betting. That’s because the closest place to you to bet on sports in South Dakota is probably in your back pocket or purse right now. If you’ve got an Internet connection and a smartphone (iPhone, Android), tablet, or computer, you can enjoy legal South Dakota sports betting this very second.

List Of Cities

  • Sioux Falls
  • Rapid City
  • Aberdeen
  • Brookings
  • Watertown
  • Deadwood

South Dakota Sports Betting Sites

The best South Dakota sports betting sites are, without doubt, Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes. There are other decent online sportsbooks out there (like BookMaker and BetDSI), but these are the best in the business, and they each offer a variety of welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, bet types, and unique perks. They even have casino and poker rooms to help you pass the time while you wait for the next ballgame to start. Each of these legal South Dakota sports betting sites is reliable and reputable, and they’re dedicated to fast payouts and stellar customer service. You can’t go wrong signing up with any (or all) of them.

South Dakota Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

For whatever reason, South Dakota sports betting and gambling laws are quite a bit more convoluted than they should be considering the state’s history. Heck, Wild Bill Hickok lost one of the most famous poker games of all time right there in Deadwood in 1876. Of course, Deadwood had almost as bad a hand as Bill’s eights and aces, and gambling was outlawed there until 1989, when limited casino gambling was formally legalized. Poker, slots, and blackjack were all made available, but other casino table games remained banned.

Eventually, as tribal casinos spread through South Dakota in the early 1990s, Deadwood morphed into the state’s only commercial casino district. Of course, with nonsense like $5 maximum bet limits, it never really took off for serious gamblers and high-rollers. Even today, with the limit increased to $1000, Deadwood casinos remain squarely aimed at tourists and not hardcore players.

That said, Deadwood is taking baby steps towards embracing the gaming culture. In 2015, the state government finally allowed area casinos to offer roulette, keno, and craps, and Deadwood officials have credited the relaxing of gambling laws with the increase in tourism and community engagement.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

If you’re interested in betting on local South Dakota teams, you’re out of luck, because there pretty much aren’t any. Overseas sportsbooks are not going to offer action on minor league hockey and roller derby matches. You might have better luck with the pair of NCAA teams in the state, but you shouldn’t expect much out them, either. Of course, just because SD doesn’t have any big-time pro teams of its own doesn’t mean that residents of the state aren’t fans of nearby clubs. The most popular major teams for SD sports bettor and fans are the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), and Minnesota Wild (NHL). As you can see, South Dakota sports fans are very much Minnesota homers.

List Of Popular Teams In And Near South Dakota

Aberdeen Wings (NAHL) Brookings Blizzard (NAHL) Rapid City Rush (ECHL)
Sioux Falls Skyforce (NBA G) Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) South Dakota Coyotes (NCAA)
South Dakota State Jackrabbits (NCAA) Minnesota Vikings (NFL) Minnesota Twins (MLB)
Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA) Minnesota Wild (NHL)  

Horse Racing Betting In South Dakota

Horse racing betting is legal in South Dakota and the state has two large venues for the pastime. The Stanley County Fairgrounds in Ft. Pierre and the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen are open during the summer months, with July and August pulling in the most business as tourists from surrounding states show up for some nice evenings out with the ponies. However, live horse racing only takes place on a few select weekends during this time, so you may want to book your stay in advance.

Overall, there’s not a tremendous amount of local action on live horse racing in South Dakota, but simulcast horse racing betting is available in several South Dakota casinos. There is also plenty of simulcast greyhound racing, though live greyhound races have been banned in the state for many years.

Daily Fantasy Sports In South Dakota

The legal status of Daily Fantasy Sports in South Dakota is debatable, but the state currently allows both major DFS operators to do business there. Additionally, state Attorney General Marty Jackley released a statement in December 2016 saying that there was an “ongoing debate on whether [DFS] wagering is predominately a permissive game of skill or an unlawful game of chance…” Jackley goes on to say that without a “clear directive” from the state, he will not instruct his office to pursue any felony indictments for DFS operators. DraftKings and FanDuel both offer their full suite of services to South Dakota residents.

Legal South Dakota Sports Betting FAQs

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In South Dakota?

Legal South Dakota sports betting wouldn’t be very compelling or worthwhile if you couldn’t bet (and win) real money, so it’s a good thing you can. Whichever online sportsbook you go with, be aware that they have deposit and withdrawal limits for every method you choose to use. However, these are usually pretty high, so most users will have no trouble staying under these limits.

No matter how much or how little you deposit into your account to gamble with, remember to never bet more than you can afford to lose, no matter how much of a “sure thing” a given contest seems to be. The only sure thing in sports betting is that, if you believe in such a thing, you’re going to lose your shirt.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In South Dakota?

Unless you’re picking results on your iPhone while wandering around in the middle of the Badlands without any water or other appropriate gear, then yes, online sports betting is safe in South Dakota. In fact, it’s probably one of the safest things you can do on the entire Internet, since all the best sportsbooks use strong encryption and state-of-the-art security methods to protect your private information and financial data. Add Bitcoin to the mix, and you can basically bet completely incognito, so nobody will ever know your business. A magician should never reveal his tricks, after all.

Will Sports Betting In South Dakota Ever Be Legal?

If you do it online, legal South Dakota sports betting already exists. As far as land-based sports betting in casinos and at kiosks or satellite offices, there’s a strong possibility that the practice will be formally legalized within the next two to five years. With PASPA a thing of the past, South Dakota will have to pass its own legislation on how, where, and when to implement legal sports betting inside the state. There’s so much upside for everyone involved that it’s hard to see any state – particularly one with such a storied gambling tradition as South Dakota – ignore the giant windfall that the pastime would provide.

Will I Get Arrested For Sports Betting In South Dakota?

Almost certainly not. There is no record of anyone ever being arrested for sports betting in South Dakota, much less prosecuted and convicted. There’s a first time for everything, but you’d probably win the state lottery and fill out a perfect March Madness bracket before ever being nailed for spending a few bucks betting on the Internet. As long as you don’t become some kind of gangland bookie, you’re in the clear.

What Is the Sports Betting Age In South Dakota?

There is no sports betting age in South Dakota as such, but the general rule in these instances is to go with the area’s age limits for its casino operations. In South Dakota’s case, that means 21, since that’s the age to gamble in the state’s many casinos. Technically, Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and 5Dimes all require their members to be at least 18 years of age, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and wait until you’re 21 or older.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In South Dakota?

Unfortunately, there are no reliable mobile sports betting apps available in South Dakota. If you’re able to find an app on Google Play or in the App Store that claims to offer legal South Dakota sports betting, ignore it. These are scams, and they exist solely to separate you from your money. Instead, save that money to use at real online sportsbooks.

That said, if you really want a mobile experience to enhance all your betting, each big sportsbook offers a “web app” version of its desktop site. Just visit their page via your mobile browser, save the bookmark to your home screen, and tap that icon any time you want to place a bet. It’s not as fast or elegant as a native app might be, but until SD has concrete pro-sports-betting laws on its books, Google and Apple simply will not allow the big online sportsbooks to offer any official apps on their platforms.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In South Dakota?

The best place to bet on sports in South Dakota is online at Bovada. If you’re only going to join one sportsbook, this is the one, as Bovada’s not only an industry leader but a stalwart on the legal end of sports betting, too. They’ve never missed a single payout, and their management has an incredibly player-friendly track record of world-beating customer service. Add all that to their comprehensive lines and slick user interface, and you’ve got a legal South Dakota sports betting paradise.

Should I Use A Local Bookie In South Dakota?

There are no legal local bookies in South Dakota, as the federal and state governments take challenges to their gaming monopolies quite seriously. If you are using a local bookie, just be aware that they – and therefore you – are likely under investigation, and getting caught up in an illegal gambling dragnet will more than wipe out all your winnings. Stick with legal online sportsbooks. They’re safer, faster, and far more convenient.

Do Any Casinos In South Dakota Have Sports Betting?

Outside of horse and greyhound racing, there aren’t any casinos in the state that offer legal South Dakota sports betting. Hopefully, this will change in the near-term future with new state legislation. But for now, if you want to bet on sports, you’ll need to use an online sportsbook like Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, or 5Dimes. Of course, by the time sports betting is legalized in the state, you’ll probably be so used to the current online system that you’ll hardly even notice.

Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In South Dakota?

The South Dakota Codified Laws make no mention of social gaming or private gambling of any kind. However, this doesn’t mean that the practice is implicitly legal. Like South Dakota itself, this one’s a bit of a gray area. It is advisable that, if you’re going to bet on sports with your friends in South Dakota, you do so quietly and behind closed doors. Do not announce any gambling parties on social media, and don’t take the action out of your home or other trusted private locations.